Metal thieves steal 1880s decorations from graves

2011-09-09 00:00

POLICE are keeping a close watch on Fort Napier Military Cemetery after it was targeted by scrap metal thieves on Wednesday.

Security guards at the nearby psychiatric hospital heard the chipping and banging of metal at around 11 pm and called the police to investigate.

The suspects fled when the police dog unit arrived at the cemetery, leaving the metal behind.

The Memorable Order of Tin Hats (Moth) veterans’ organisation condemned the incident and and said it is worried about the increase in scrap metal theft and vandalism at the graveyard.

Moth member Mossie Mosper, who visited the site yesterday, said the organisation is doing all it can to protect it.

“The thieves unearthed 1880s steel decorations, railings and steel crosses. These incidents are happening frequently. The last incident happened in July when some people climbed over the fence and smashed the marble on the graves.”

Mosper appealed to the public “to keep their eyes peeled”.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission will visit the cemetery this weekend for a full assessment.

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